Room 4


Case 17 and individual display case

Ming dynasty “blue-and-white” porcelain 明代青花瓷器

Porcelain from the Jingdezhen kilns 景德鎮窯, Jiangxi Province 江西省, Ming dynasty 明代 (1368-1644).

At Jingdezhen, the Mongols of the Yuan dynasty 元代 (1279-1368) developed large-shaped porcelain vessels with underglaze cobalt blue decoration to meet the taste of their Muslim clients in the Middle East. Under the Ming, this “blue-and-white” style, which had at first been considered vulgar and barbaric by the Chinese, gradually became accepted and more widely used.

Free standing :

Blue-and-white Guan jar and cover 青花云龍紋將軍蓋罐

Ming dynasty, mark and reign of Jiajing 嘉靖 (1522-1566)


Cobalt blue underglaze decoration. Two dragons fly among clouds over rocks and waves, enclosed within two shou 壽 characters, meaning “longevity”.

  1. Blue-and-white jar with dragon design 青花龍戯珠紋方罐

    Ming dynasty, mark and reign of Jiajing 嘉靖 (1522-1566)

  2. Blue-and-white dish with peony design 青花草紋大盤

    Ming dynasty, reign of Yongle 永樂 (1402-1424)


    Pieces of this kind may also be seen in Middle Eastern collections.
  3. Deep blue-and-white bowl 青花三羊紋深碗

    Ming dynasty, mark and reign of Jiajing 嘉靖 (1522-1566)


    Rare decoration of three rams under the sun, giving rise to a play on words designed to attract prosperity in the coming year (san yang kai tai 三陽開泰).
  4. Blue-and-white touhu “arrow vase” 青花阿拉伯字投壺

    Ming dynasty, second half of 16th c.


    Decoration with auspicious clouds and six medallions containing inscriptions imitating the Arabic script. The shape of this vase, with its tubular additions around the neck, is a copy of a pot used in an ancient game of arrow-throwing known as “pitch-pot”.
  5. Blue-and-white Guan jar with a lotus scroll 青花蓮花紋罐

    Ming dynasty, reign of Yongle 永樂 (1402-1424)

  6. Blue-and-white incense burner 青花龍戯珠紋香爐

    Ming dynasty, mark and reign of Wanli 萬曆 (1573-1619)


    Antique bronze shape with a five-clawed dragon design. Such dragons were associated with the imperial family.
  7. Blue-and-white covered box with dragon design 青花龍戯珠紋銀錠形盒

    Ming dynasty, mark and reign of Wanli 萬曆 (1573-1619)


    The shape of this box, imitating that of a silver ingot, symbolises social advancement and prosperity.
  8. Peach-shaped water dropper 青花桃形硯滴

    Ming dynasty, late 16th - early 17th c.


    Distributed around the belly, the openwork flowers form the characters yao chi xian pin 瑤池仙品 “precious water vessel of the Immortals”. Another character, shou 壽 “longevity”, can be made out on the stem acting as the handle.
  9. Yi pouring vessel with copper red glaze 釉裏紅匜形盤

    Ming dynasty, probably 16th c.


    A rare specimen reminiscent of a zoomorphic archaic bronze, standing on three legs with ox hooves and a dragon-handle. The porcelain might have been modelled after an original from the Zhou dynasty 周 (11th-3rd century B.C.) illustrated in a catalogue of antiques.

  10. Lotus-shaped water dropper painted in underglaze blue and red 青花釉裏紅荷葉與芽形硯滴

    Ming dynasty, 17th c.

  11. Blue-and-white dragon brush rest 青花龍紋山形筆架

    Ming dynasty, mark and reign of Wanli 萬曆 (1573-1619)


    Five moulded mountain crests formed by the heads of rampant five clawed dragons, with rocks and waves below. This piece probably portrays the mountainous islands which were the home of the Immortals.
  12. Blue-glazed jar with incised design 藍色刻花紋耳罐

    Ming dynasty, mark and reign of Jiajing 嘉靖 (1522-1566)


    Incised figure of an animal with body and hooves resembling an ox.
  13. Blue-and-white lotus-shaped dish with Buddhist motif 青花梵字荷形盤

    Ming dynasty, mark and reign of Wanli 萬曆 (1573-1619)


    In the central field is a medallion with the Siddham letter for “Buddha” 佛.
  14. Blue-and-white gourd bottle 青花鶴紋葫蘆形瓶

    Ming dynasty, mark and reign of Jiajing 嘉靖 (1522-1566)


    This decoration, combining crane, peach and ruyi 如意 fungus, symbolizes longevity, a message reinforced by the inscriptions feng yu tiao shun 風雨調順 “May wind and rain unite to bring prosperity” and min guo tai an 民國泰安 “May the people and the nation enjoy great peace”.